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Pharmacist is a person who is involved in dispensing of prescribed medications to the patients and who can offer an expertise in the safer use of the prescriptions. He/she may also provide advice on leading a healthy lifestyle. At times, pharmacists would conduct health and wellness screenings and provide immunizations. They would also oversee the medications that are given to patients.

Job Description:

The responsibilities of a pharmacist are as follows:

  • In case of hospital pharmacists, they would have to work alongside physicians, nurses and any other healthcare professional.

  • Must dispense the prescribed medications.

  • Must be an expert in the use and safety of every medication.

  • Must be able to educate the patients about medication use and their side effects.

  • Must maintain the confidential record of every patient.

  • As a pharmacist, one must understand that customer relation is most important.

  • Must be able to advise a doctor in determining the best possible treatment for a specific disease.

How to become a Pharmacist?

Educational Requirements:

In order to enter into pharmacy schools, one must have a Bachelor of Science degree as a prerequisite. In addition, one must be required to take a test called ‘Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)’ before the acceptance.

In order to work as a pharmacist in the US, one must have the basic educational requirement of ‘Doctor of Pharmacy’ degree which is popularly known as Pharm.D. This is a four-year program which needs to be completed at an accredited college of pharmacy.

Certification and Training:

Every pharmacist needs to have a license that is to be issued by the State Pharmacy Board well before his/her practice in retail or hospital pharmacy. For this, the candidate should have taken and passed the test called ‘North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX)’ or ‘Multi-state Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MSPJE)’. It is to be noted that the obtained license should be renewed every year by finishing the accredited continuing education classes that are prescribed by the State of Licensure.

There are no formal trainings available for pharmacists but the candidates are required to complete their study with a certain amount of real practice during the fourth year of course. Thus, the students will gain practical experience via hands-on training.

Job Outlook and Opportunities:

The job market of pharmacists is estimated to increase by 14% from the year 2012 to 2022. This rate is comparable with the average growth rate with all other occupations. The increase in demand for the prescription medications will elevate the demand for more pharmaceutical services. A licensed pharmacist can fetch their positions in the following facilities:

  • Retail pharmacies

  • Hospitals

  • Corporations

  • Long-term care facilities


According to the ‘Bureau of Labor Statistics’ of United States Department of Labor, the average annual pay for a pharmacist is $116,670 per year which is $56.09 per hour.


Average Pay    :           $116,670

Education         :           Doctor of Pharmacy

Number of Jobs, 2012   :           286,400

Employment Growth from 2012 to 2022  :           14%

On-the-job training    :           None

Work Experience        :           None